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Irinotecan for Cervical Cancer

If you have cervical cancer, you may receive irinotecan (Camptosar®). However, this is not an approved use of the drug. Irinotecan is approved for use in the treatment of colon or rectal cancer that has spread to other areas of the body.
However, there are occasions where a healthcare provider will prescribe a medication for an unapproved use. This is called an "off-label" use. In some cases, a healthcare provider may prescribe irinotecan for the treatment of cervical cancer. Other possible off-label uses of the drug include the treatment of lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and stomach cancer.
Irinotecan works by preventing DNA from duplicating, which stops the cells from dividing and multiplying. This action causes the cells to die.
(For more information on using this drug for cervical and other types of cancer, click What Is Irinotecan Used For?. This Web selection also explains whether this chemotherapy drug can be used in children or older adults.)
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